To The Editor:
Unfortunately, The Missourian got it wrong in its Aug. 21, 2013, editorial titled “Sloppy Drafting” when it repeated an earlier mistake taken from the Springfield News-Leader regarding HB 339 which is properly drafted to reduce the number of uninsured motorists in Missouri.
Contrary to the comment plucked from the governor’s veto letter, the term “uninsured motorist” is defined in the bill and the new section is within Chapter 303, RSMo, which clearly sets forth the minimum auto insurance required by law.
House Bill 339 is a commonsense measure which provides that drivers of motor vehicles who are in violation of the mandatory insurance law for longer than a six-month period may only recover for their actual damages.
This is a matter of fairness for responsible drivers who obey the law and protect their fellow motorists. Even so, under HB 339, if an insured motorist is found to be at fault, the uninsured motorist still recovers medical costs, lost wages, repair or replacement of the vehicle, and any other actual and quantifiable costs incurred. The bill does not prevent passengers or those injured by a drunk driver from recovering noneconomic damages.
A new study from the Insurance Research Council indicates that these laws not only help to reduce the number of uninsured motorists, but they can also reduce auto insurance costs.
As legislative sponsor of HB 339, which will benefit every Missouri motorist, I encourage all legislators to join me in overriding the governor’s veto.